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MP calls for a general law course in schools

Publishing Date : 11 September, 2017


Member of Parliament (MP) for Okavango, Bagalatia Arone says there is need for Government to introduce a general law course starting from secondary schools to tertiary institutions so as to equip the citizens with the fundamentals of understanding law.

Arone who is also a member of Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Governance and Social Welfare made these remarks when addressing social workers and Ward Development Committee members on the delivery of social services. The former teacher says that part of reasons service delivery is at its lowest in the country is beasuse public servants being the service providers lack the basic knowledge of law which translates into poor understanding of regulations and policies that should guide service delivery.

The outspoken MP observes that some managers and senior Government officials have no understanding of policies at all and therefore there is need for public servants to understand the fundamental parameters of law to be able to interpret, understand and act accordingly to deliver. “Some managers cannot quote any Act. Officers should be able to quote the Act or sections of various legislations in their reports. Some will sit with documents without signing them with the excuse that they are not empowered to do so yet they are actually empowered by the very same policies they do not understand,” he said.

Arone therefore recommends that a high school law programme must be introduced in schools to empower young people to be able to take interest in law, and to be empowered to be active and engaged citizens equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to successfully participate and create positive change in the workplace and their communities. He says the programme should continue as a general legal education course in institutions of higher learning for students to further appreciate the laws of the country which citizens first have to understand so that they could respect and uphold them.


Apart from lack of the basic comprehension of law by public servants and the laws, regulations and policies that “do not speak to each other,” the Okavango MP says that there is general lack of patriotism by people in the public service. Arone says that there is a “worrisome level of patriotism” and “questionable level of commitment” by public servants, a development that he says is also a major contributing factor in poor service delivery.

However, former parliamentary candidate for Selebi Phikwe East, Nzwaligwa Nzwaligwa disagrees. He blames Government for exploiting citizens hiding behind the guise of patriotism. Nzwaligwa gave an example of exploitation of performing artists who in many occasions are asked to perform at Government events for free or to charge a nominal fee as demonstration of their patriotism to their country.

Nzwaligwa who is currently Research and Administration Officer at the office of the Member of Parliament for Selebi Phikwe West noted that artists were robbed of their rightful dues during the celebration of the 50th Independence of the country as they were asked to be patriotic. He argues that some of the young artists and DJ’s were funded by Government to execute their projects as musicians and artists yet they are being exploited by the very same Government that is supposed to support them.

“There is exploitation of artists in this country. We must stop sweet-talking artists to volunteer their services. This is their profession and it is like any other profession, like an officer who goes to the office every day without volunteering to serve for free just because he or she is a Motswana who loves their country. Artists too love their country and their talents must be respected and must be paid for their services,” said Nzwaligwa.



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